The ultimate contemporary jazz hyphenate Russ Freeman (guitarist/arranger/producer/keyboardist/composer) became one of smooth jazz's most influential artists through magnificent projects like this one, chosen by Jazziz as the best contemporary jazz album of all time. This third Ripps release is a masterpiece of mouthwatering pop-jazz tunes, featuring strong hooks, gorgeous texturing, and styles ranging from tropical (the sunny "Aruba" featuring Rob Mullins on keys and Carl Anderson scatting away) and Brazilian ("One Summer Night in Brazil," Freeman's lush centerpiece) to soulful (a cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together")…
An interesting if quite diverse set, this album is best remembered for featuring up-and-coming singer Bobby McFerrin on a few selections. McFerrin has his moments, as does tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman and such notable sidemen as altoist Steve Coleman, John Purcell on reeds, either Kenny Werner or Mark Thompson on piano, Freeman's longtime bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart, among others. The material (by Freeman, Thompson and Werner) is actually not that significant, and the date on a whole is less memorable than many of Chico Freeman's earlier sets, but it has its enjoyable spots.
The year is 1978: 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer), playing in the woods near his home, is knocked unconscious. He awakens and heads home, only to find strangers living there. He also finds that the year is 1986, and that he's been officially missing for eight years. NASA officials determine that David was abducted by aliens during his blackout, and hope to scan the boy's brain in order to unlock a few secrets of the universe. Answering the call of a strange, unseen force, David boards a well-hidden spaceship and takes off, guided by the jocular voice of a computer named MAX (voiced by none other than Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman). Realizing that he can't fit in to 1986 so long as he's a child of the '70s, David hopes to retrace the steps of his alien abductors and get back to his own time.
The Benoit Freeman Project 2 is an collaboration album by American pianist David Benoit and American Guitarist Russ Freeman released in 2004, and recorded for the Peak label. The album reached #7 on Billboard's Jazz chart. Russ Freeman also serves as leader and frontman for the Rippingtons.
The Benoit Freeman Project is a collaboration album by American pianist David Benoit and American guitarist Russ Freeman released in 1994, and recorded for the GRP label. The album reached #2 on Billboard's Jazz chart. Russ Freeman also serves as leader and frontman for the Rippingtons.